Cases Somerset Rebels will be looking to further extend their unbeaten home record when they face Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Oaktree Arena in the Premier League on Friday night (7.30pm).
With Somerset sitting in second place in the Premier League table, victory and all three league points will ensure that the Rebels keep the pressure on the current leaders Newcastle Diamonds.
Somerset's cause will be helped by the news that Sam Masters will delay his departure to Italy for his Grand Prix Challenge semi-final until the following morning, and that the club hope to have Claus Vissing back riding for the first time since he sustained a punctured lung at the end of last month.
“We discovered that there was this flight that Sam could get on Saturday morning which would allow him to get to Lonigo in good time for the afternoon practice session, so he won’t have to miss Friday’s home match against Scunthorpe,” explained Rebels co-promoter Garry May.
“So all things being equal we will be able to track a full seven-man line-up of Somerset riders for the first time in a month.”
Such are the injury woes that have beset Scunthorpe in recent weeks that it remains to be seen as to who will actually line-up for them come Friday’s meeting, with Tero Aarnio (wrist injury), Thomas Jørgensen (ribs) and Tom Armstrong, who has returned to Australia following serious injuries sustained at the start of the season, all possible Scorpion absentees.
Despite that, Scunthorpe do have a top two that can be a match for any in the Premier League, namely the British duo of David Howe, now in his fourth season with the North Lincolnshire club, and Josh Auty, who has returned to Scunthorpe where he started his speedway career after spending the last 3 seasons with Sheffield.
“It is crucial that we continue to take the maximum three league points from our home matches, as any home points dropped negate the hard work put in when picking up points in our away matches,” said May.
“Although Scunthorpe have their injury worries, we must take full advantage of that on Friday night to keep the pressure up on Newcastle who currently top the table.”